March 6, 2007

Welcome to the Neighborhood


Tonight is a big Community Garden meeting where we will discuss some pretty controversial topics like work hours, a garden shed, a natural plantings area and dog poo.

Our garden has a lot of space beyond the garden plots and was designed as a "multi-use" area for the community. Its basically like a small park in the middle of the neighborhood and everyone has some opinion about how it should look. The natural plantings area caused a stir last year (with a petition and everything) so it could be an eventful night. The issue is about the look and height of what we plant. Native plants and flowers tend not to be as pretty and neat as a rose garden but, they are a really cool thing to have in an urban area. The battle will likely be among the "lovely manicured garden" camp and the "wild and natural" camp. Plus there will be a contingent who just want it all to be grass so they can kick a ball and run around unencumbered.

It is amazing how heated this stuff can get. Before last summer there was all out war over whether or not to have a designated dog park in the garden - thus the controversy over the dog poo that's been littering the perimeter. I have agreed to run the meeting. Most of my co-Committee members think I'm crazy to volunteer for such a job. Its a good kind of crazy I think. I'm up for it.

Honestly though, its about 4 degrees outside and feels like -17 so there's a good chance that very few people will come to the meeting which means we won't get input but, also means we can't (in theory) be blamed for going forward with the best options available since we invited people to participate. It's seriously hard to get people to think about gardening when its dark and cold outside.

6 comments:

Xris said...

There's a possibility of a community garden getting established in my neighborhood. I haven't blogged about it yet because I don't know how definite it is. I'll know more after a meeting tomorrow night.

There looking for a "coordinator" and I've been asked. Would I be nuts to do it?

Black Eyed Susan said...

Xris - No you wouldn't be nuts. It'll have some headaches for sure though. What kind of community garden, I mean, how big?

delilah said...

Is there any way of creating a design with different areas so that everyone is happy? Maybe an outer border of wild/natives with an interior "fussy" bed... some benches...
Dog runs are usually mulch... there's no way grass can survive!

carletongardener said...

How did the meeting go? Keep us posted....

Christa said...

I had to laugh about the dog poo issue. Our community garden has been fighting the placement of a dog park near the gardens for the past, oh, three or four years now. I am curious to know how the issue gets resolved at your community garden.

Xris said...

There was a community meeting last week to discuss the garden and the summer farmer's market. Not sure how the garden is going to come off. The property is in private hands, so we need to know what kinds of uses they would allow before we get into it any further.

The idea is that it would be used by local residents, especially immigrant populations, from nearby apartment buildings, who have no place of their own in which to garden.

The property is about 3/4 acre, which is huge for Brooklyn, let alone NYC. A lot of potential, but again, still too early to tell what we'l be allowed to do with it.